Caribbean News, Latin America News:
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. March 14, 2020: The number of COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean is now at 43, according to a News Americas analysis of the latest data reported on confirmed cases in the region last night.
Jamaica last night became the leader of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region with 8 cases.
French Guiana now has the second highest number of cases in the region with 6 while The Dominican Republic says it still has 5 cases.
Cuba and Martinique now have four cases each. Martinique officials said they are all in isolation at the CHU Martinique Hospital, La Meynard, in a special and sheltered quarantine unit.
Puerto Rico reported three cases yesterday while Saint Martin still has two cases and Aruba reported two as well.
Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Curacao, Guadeloupe and Suriname all reported one case each yesterday. Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Cayman Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Barths all still have one case each.
The only death so far has been in Guyana – a woman in her 50s who travelled there from New York.
The uptick could have serious consequences for the region’s economy and its tourism sector, considered the bread and butter for most countries in the Caribbean and CARICOM region.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) on Thursday said it continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and to engage member countries, as well as the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and tourism partners, to inform travel-related health measures that are proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment.
“The CTO would like to emphasize that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not called for any travel and trade restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the WHO continues to advise against such restrictions. Local populations and visitors alike are assured that the Caribbean remains open for business,” the statement added.
Several Caribbean countries have, however, announced restrictions on travel from several countries that have been severely impacted from the virus. Passengers and airline crew who have been in China (People’s Republic), Hong Kong (SAR China), Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Macao (SAR China) or Singapore in the past 21 days, are not allowed to transit or enter Sint Maarten, St. Lucia, Aruba, the Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and Jamaica.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Tourism Ministry announced last night it is postponing several public events this month including: the Tourism Linkages Speed Networking event set for March 12 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre and the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival scheduled for March 21 in Newcastle, St. Andrew, Jamaica.
Globally there are now 145,640 cases of the virus with 5,436 deaths reported. Some 72,528 people have so far recovered from the virus.